Mets glad to see Christian Scott compete in first tough outing of big league career

Every time Christian Scott is on the mound for the Mets it’s a peek into what the franchise's future rotation can look like.

However, the young pitcher’s career will inevitably have bumps as he learns to pitch in the majors, like what happened on Friday night in Miami. Scott took on the last-place Marlins in the first of a three-game set and did not have his best stuff.

The Florida native lasted just four innings, gave up four runs and struck out just three batters. All career worsts.

Of course, Scott’s major league career is just three starts deep but despite that, there was a lot to learn about the 24-year-old from Friday's outing.

“Thought he got away from his fastball in the second inning, especially against left-handed hitters,” manager Carlos Mendoza said of Scott’s start after the game. “One of those where he got away from his fastball…the changeup didn’t use against lefties and they made him pay.”

That aforementioned second inning was where the Marlins got to Scott. Miami strung together hits and pushed across a run on a sac fly. But then catcher Nick Fortes -- entering the game with a .127 average -- launched a hanging slider over the left-center field wall.

“The fastball didn’t have the ‘hop’ that it usually has,” Mendoza added. “The pitch sequence for me....he got slider-happy against lefties.”

When Scott was told that his manager thought he was “slider-happy,” he chalked it up to execution.

“I don’t think I did a good job executing in the zone. Definitely had some hittable pitches there in the second, had a bad pitch there for the homer, hung a slider,” Scott explained. “Need to do a better job of executing in the zone especially in deeper in counts. The more pitches that they see, have to do a better job getting those sliders down and away. Have to make quality pitches there.”

He did agree with Mendoza that he didn’t have a “good feel” of his fastball on Friday. He said it was a part location and lack of life on the fastball that was off -- he averaged 94.3 mph on his fastball.

He also didn’t mix in his sweeper a lot on Friday. Of his 84 pitches, he threw only six of them, according to Baseball Savant. That’s something Scott regrets not throwing more.

“Probably should have [thrown the sweeper more]. Thought the gyro was playing pretty well,” Scott explained. “Thought fastball, didn’t have a good feel for it so trying to get them off of that. … Just have to learn from it and keep one foot in front of the other.”

Although it wasn’t the start he or the Mets hoped he’d have, he did fight for his four innings, especially after getting into a bases-loaded, zero-out jam.

Scott struck out Jazz Chisolm Jr., got Bryan De La Cruz to fly out and Josh Bell to ground out to end the fourth without giving up a run, and kept the Mets only down 4-0.

“Just compete every pitch. The whole game, just going out there even when I didn’t have my best stuff, just being able to go out there and try to get outs any way I could try to keep the team in there,” Scott said.

“He’s not going to give up. He’s going to continue to compete and give you his best,” Mendoza said of the fourth inning. “When he’s not feeling well and it’s a battle for him, to get out of that bases-loaded jam says a lot about who he is. He didn’t have it, he continued to compete.”

Through three starts, Scott has a 4.32 ERA but has struck out 17 batters in 16.2 innings pitched. He’s still searching for his first MLB win, which he’ll have to wait until next week to try and get, but even when he doesn’t have his best stuff, the Mets know they can count on their young pitcher to compete and keep them in the game.